Construction crew treats students, staff to pizza party

Assistant Program Manager Elliott Meier, left, serves pizza to third-graders at Live Oak Elementary School on Friday, 041522. Dan Watson/The Signal

Students at Live Oak Elementary school were in for another surprise on Friday when construction workers doing renovations gifted them with more than 80 free pizzas.  

The free pies came just a day after the Shelby American car company brought two classic cars to the school and gave a 40-minute presentation, giving students the ultimate excuse to get out of class.  

The two companies overseeing the renovations, Fonder-Salari and Independent Construction Inspection, wanted to give students and faculty the pizzas as an apology for the shuffling around that both have had to do since construction began.  

“Over the last six months, we’ve kind of had them upside down,” said Bill Jameson, owner of ICI. “The logistics of doing what we did wasn’t just like demoing it and rebuilding it. The kids had to move out of the classrooms, into other classrooms, we redid the building, then they moved back into that building, we moved the kids out of the other [building], because we did them in modules. So basically, it kind of upset their whole, you know, daily routine.” 

Stephanie Beach, principal of Live Oak, said the project has been in the planning stages for seven years but due to a financial crisis the school had in 2014, things got considerably delayed. Architectural designs were being implemented when the pandemic hit, pushing back the start date for construction to October of last year.  

“We’re super happy it’s coming to an end and that we’re able to move back into our office,” said Beach. “We’ve been out of the office since October and we’re really excited to be moving back in and have a freshly remodeled school.” 

Beach emphasized that the project’s end is a very welcome one, saying it disrupted more than just their daily routine.  

“We’ve lost parts of our playground throughout the year and we’ve had to divert, they’ve moved classes. Over half of our classes have had to move once or twice this school year, as they renovated each pod,” said Beach. “So yeah, our kids have had to go through a lot. So it’s a great celebration to culminate the end of the project.” 

Elliot Meier, assistant project manager for Fonder-Salari, said that the project should be done by the end of this week and that renovations were “substantially complete.” 

The complications of the renovations, however, seemed unbeknownst to the first wave of students receiving their free pizzas, as attempts to receive comment from them were only met with screams of excitement.  

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